SoftBank, the third largest operator in Japan, will partner Sweden-based Ericsson to conduct a joint pre-standard 5G trial in the 4.5GHz band in selected Japanese cities.
The proof of concept trial, due to start once SoftBank secures an experimental 5G licence, will use two 5G New Radios, a virtual RAN and evolved packet core (EPC), beamforming and Massive MIMO, Ericsson said in a statement.
SoftBank announced in June it was working with ZTE to run trials on the 4.5GHz band in areas of metropolitan Tokyo.
In March, the operator was granted an experimental licence to conduct tests on the 28GHz band, a candidate for 5G in Japan. The trials were to be conducted in indoor and outdoor environments covering both mobile and stationary tests.
SoftBank also is planning tests on the 4GHz and 15GHz bands and began conducting pre-standard 5G field trials with Ericsson in August 2016.
It deployed Massive MIMO on its 4G network in the second half of 2016.
The operator, with a 19 per cent market share, aims to be one of the first in the world to launch commercial 5G services around 2020.
Mobile standards body 3GPP is expected to finalise the first set of 5G specs by March 2018.